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Old 08-11-2019, 07:53 AM   #1
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'98/'99 boxster

I know I am probably an anomaly here, being a woman and well aware of the deep knowledge base at a forum like this (I have over the years monitored several - knitting, science fiction and sailing) but here goes.
I grew up driving my father's 911 (he also raced go-carts) and my present vehicle is a 12 year old SUV in excellent mechcanical condition (purchased new and should last another 8 years). Having put 2 kids through college, I am feeling the urge to add some zest to my life and take advantage of California sun. A miata is too tame but with summer on the wane there are a few '98/'99 boxsters for sale with less than 30K miles for sale in supposedly 'pristine' condition (20 years ago I drove a friend's for about 6 months). I'm aware of the IMS problems and would never consider a 2000-2005 even with the LN update (ticking time bomb). I'm also not interested in going 0-60 in 5 seconds, but rather in a spirited drive. I'm also well aware that a good PPI is necessary before any purchase.
My question is - realistically what should I be looking at replacing on a low mileage (less than 30K) '98/'99 boxster to make it a rather bullit-proof drive and a rough cost associated? Thank you.
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:11 PM   #2
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97-99 boxsters have same IMSB as 2000.
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:48 PM   #3
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If not done recently, definitely water pump and tires. With the PPI have a check on AOS (crank case vacuum pressure with a manometer), window, door, and roof function, engine and transmission mount integrity, pulleys and drive belt. That's all stuff that will likely degrade with age regardless of miles.

Cost depends a lot on the shop. A good water pump is from $250 - $350 for the part. A recent forum post was talking about a shop charging over $1,000 for the total job. With a little experience it can be done in about an hour in the driveway with the rear wheels on ramps.
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:53 AM   #4
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For what you're looking for in a car I think the 98/99 Boxsters are prefect. What a particular car might needs depends mostly on its service record. And I'd focus more on finding a well serviced car than super low miles. Of course, I bought a '02S last year with 24k on it so I don't even follow my own advice.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BYprodriver View Post
97-99 boxsters have same IMSB as 2000.
I thought that year 2000 went with the single row bearing. Near everything I've read suggests that that single row bearing on the 2000 could be a time bomb just waiting.

My research reveals that the IMS on my 98 is the double row.

Do I stand corrected? Please advise.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Starter986 View Post
I thought that year 2000 went with the single row bearing. Near everything I've read suggests that that single row bearing on the 2000 could be a time bomb just waiting.

My research reveals that the IMS on my 98 is the double row.

Do I stand corrected? Please advise.
Some do, some don't. They started switching over in 2000. From what I understand, the only way to know for sure is visual inspection.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starter986 View Post
I thought that year 2000 went with the single row bearing. Near everything I've read suggests that that single row bearing on the 2000 could be a time bomb just waiting.

My research reveals that the IMS on my 98 is the double row.

Do I stand corrected? Please advise.
Your '98 has a dual row bearing. 2001 was a transition year from dual to single row. I've pulled out three bearings from 2001 engines and all of them were dual row. I still suspect that a 2001 is around a 50/50 chance of single vs dual.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:00 AM   #8
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My 2002 had 149K on it when I replaced the original IMS bearing, so calling those cars a ticking time bomb seems a bit extreme.

The ultra-low miles cars are more likely to have an IMS failure than cars that get driven regularly. 78F350 has excellent advice on what to have checked.

And congratulations on getting to a point in your life where you can have a sports car!
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:19 AM   #9
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thank you all for your replies.

Sorry about the 'ticking time bomb', I must confess to TMR - too much reading as I have garnered that 2001-2005 failure was 8-10% whereas the '98/'99 was close to 1% and I really don't like surprises.

So water pump for sure. Add a low temp thermostat as well?

Tires yes (I'll leave that discussion for another day as I see multiple opinions on specific make/model).

Brakes - check of course, any reason to upgrade?

I've read about deep sump kits for oil - good idea to add as well?

And talking of oil, should I attempt to keep the same as was being run or switch to (Mobil 1 - what)?

Lastly, anything specific on suspension?

Thank you all again.


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Old 08-12-2019, 08:07 AM   #10
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Add a low temp thermostat as well? Yes.

Brakes - check of course, any reason to upgrade? No.

I've read about deep sump kits for oil - good idea to add as well? For a street car? No significant benefit. On the track with track tires, Yes.

And talking of oil, should I attempt to keep the same as was being run or switch to (Mobil 1 - what)? We love "what is the best oil" threads! Go ahead start a new one. or search and read the gazillion posts that we already have on the subject.

Lastly, anything specific on suspension? You can probably learn a lot from the posts that came up from "Speedyspaghetti" trying to sort out his wobbly steering and vibration: 986 Forum - for Porsche Boxster & Cayman Owners - Search Results

Rear trailing arms ( aka track arm, rear control arm...) often start to rattle over small bumps when they wear out. Pretty simple to replace and cost roughly $200 each. Install new rear control arms

On two of about twelve 986s I've bought the rear suspension brackets were cracked by the toe adjustment. I think it's more common on the earlier cars, 97-99 and was reinforced in later years. Replacing the rear suspension bracket
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Last edited by 78F350; 08-12-2019 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:09 PM   #11
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I have three '97 Boxsters, mileage at acquisition ranging from 17,000 to 165,000. My suggestion, for a car under 200,000 miles, largely LEAVE IT ALONE! That is, mostly I would address issues only as they become symptomatic, i.e. leaking oil from spark plug tubes, intermixing or leaking oil and coolant from oil cooler O- rings, smoking exhaust related to air-oil separator failure, etc.
The one exception I'd suggest, for any Boxster that might get rained on, replace the factory plastic box for the immobilizer module ( under the driver's seat, of all places) with the aftermarket waterproof one from ECUdoctors in Miami. It's $150 and takes about an hour to install ( requires removing driver's seat, kinda heavy to lift). While you're at it, drill a few 10mm holes in the floor to drain water should it get in the car. This project is easier than changing oil as it does not require lifting the car.
Also, I'd consider a new set of tires , regardless of tread depth, based on the age of the tires, seven or eight years max.
An issue that old Boxsters often develop is disintegration of the lightweight 'foam' covering the movable vent doors inside the heater box behind the dash. The fragments blow out the various air outlets on the dash. The repair requires disassembling the dash practically down to the firewall, disconnecting the coolant lines to the heater core, discharging and later vacuuming and recharging the a/c. Only a few hand tools are needed, but an A/C vacuum pump and gauges are needed to recharge the opened system. With the heater box out, the doors can be covered with tape (I use fiberglass cloth and resin) to replace the crumbling foam. Material cost less than $100.
Otherwise, as you would upon acquiring any older used car, you would replace all the fluids, inspect the brake pad thicknesses and replace pads and discs as needed.
My opinion is, a Box is no more challenging to keep up than anything else, and a darn sight more worthwhile.
And, finally, JOIN THE PCA! The best money you'll ever spend on a Porsche.
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